Ishimori Woodstone A11 Silver Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

I have an Ishimori Woodstone silver alto sax mouthpiece to review and play for you today. This is a 7* tip high baffled mouthpiece.  I have been eagerly wanting to try these Ishimori mouthpieces out for quite awhile.

Ishimori Woodstone A11 Silver Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Over the past few months I have heard of Ishimori Woodstone mouthpieces from a number of players on the web.  They were all raving about how good these mouthpieces were which really peaked my curiosity.  I had a problem though, when I searched around for these mouthpieces I couldn’t find them anywhere except for the Ishimori site in Japan and the whole site was in Japanese.  (I am not fluent in Japanese)  I gave up after that but then a month later I heard another player raving about them again.  This time I decided to try contacting Ishimori directly through their website.  I sent them an email asking about their mouthpieces and a few days later received a courteous response from Norikiyo Yaguchi who handles Overseas transactions for Mr. Ishimori.  He was  nice enough to send me 5 mouthpieces to review- 2 alto, 2 tenor and one soprano mouthpiece.  This is the first one I played because it was the first box I opened.

The mouthpiece is beautiful.  It has a perfect looking facing curve and tip.  The baffle is high and slopes to and even edge where it then slopes down into a medium to small chamber.  It has a big black plastic bite plate that came with a mouthpiece patch on it for extra protection.  The bore end of the mouthpiece is covered with black hard rubber that has a scroll type design on it that looks great.  Underneath the black hard rubber end is the metal of the mouthpiece so don’t worry, it won’t break on you.  I am told that they added the hard rubber to soften the sound a bit.

To be honest, when I first saw the baffle on this mouthpiece I made an assumption that I was going to hate it.  I have tried dozens of high baffle mouthpieces that have played horribly.  They would squeak and chirp and sound ridiculously bright.  I was thinking this would be the same with a baffle that high.  I was very surprised when I played it.  It had a brighter powerful sound but it wasn’t overly bright to my ears.  I actually really liked it.  It kind of reminded me of a Warren Hill type of sound.  Kind of a fatter Sanborn type alto sound. Not so bright that you couldn’t play straight ahead but I do think it is great for that smooth jazz kind of sound.  You can hear that I was leaning to that type of sound in the clips below.  I wouldn’t say this mouthpiece is for everyone but if you are looking for a brighter more focused modern alto sound this would be a good choice.

The mouthpiece came with a Woodstone #3 reed on it which was perfect for this mouthpiece.  The first clip has reverb on it.  I always review these high baffle pieces and talk about how they would sound killer with some reverb.  This time,  I thought I would add some just so you could hear what I’m talking about.  The recording is nothing fancy but I just recorded it with Garageband on my Mac.  The reverb is just the stock reverb that Garageband uses it doesn’t sound studio quality to me but you can get the idea.    The second clip is from the same recording but is totally dry.   I wanted to add a dry clip so you can compare it to the other mouthpiece review clips on my site which are all dry.   I had to edit both clips to shorten them to under 2 minutes so they are slightly different as I had to edit each one separately.  You can hear on the first clip how this mouthpiece could do well in a smooth jazz type of gig.

Ishimori Woodstone A11 Silver Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

I hope to have some more clips and reviews up in the next few days of the rest of the Ishimori mouthpieces I have so stay tuned for those.   Every mouthpiece and reed that I have received from the Ishimori company has been perfect.  They pay attention to the smallest details and it is obvious when you see and play their products.  Believe it or not, I have played about 40 of their Woodstone reeds and haven’t found a bad one yet.  They all played great right out of the box!

Let me know what you think in the comments below.   Thanks,   Steve

Ishimori Woodstone A11 Silver Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece with Reverb

Ishimori Woodstone A11 Silver Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece Dry-No Effects

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Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 25 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.

Comments

  1. Interesting to add Nef (when available for you of course) the Hard Rubber Woodstone “Studio” models

  2. This is the silver or Sterling silver?

  3. Square, I’m not absolutely sure but I believe this piece is just silver plated. I didn’t even know they had a Sterling Silver model………..

  4. Bill Smart says:

    Steve,
    Quite impressed with the review of the Ishimori Woodstone A11 Silver alto mouthpiece. Would you recommend this particular Ishimori, after playing it. And if so do you have access to one or are they only available via order to Japan?
    Thanks for your review and opinion.
    Bill S.

  5. Hi Bill, I don’t have one of these anymore. After the review i had to send it back. I borrowed it from saxaccessories.com but since that time the owner died sadly and the family closed down the business. I’m not sure who else carries Ishimori products over here in the US now……..

  6. there are 2 mouthpieces solid silver which is 1360 dollars and a silver plate which is 360 dollars

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